Mitchell Northam (@primetimeMitch)
Villanova’s women’s basketball team will face five opponents this upcoming season that appeared in last year’s NCAA tournament.
Maddy Siegrist (above) and Villanova face a challenging slate in 2021-22. (Photo courtesy Sideline Photos/Villanova Athletics)
The challenging slate of games for the Wildcats was revealed on Friday. Villanova will open its 2021-22 campaign at home on Nov. 10 against Princeton. Following that are three consecutive road games, as the Wildcats will travel to Maryland, St. Joseph’s and Penn.
Of Villanova’s non-conference slate, its clash with Maryland on Nov. 12 looks to be its toughest. The Terps won the Big Ten last season and advanced to the Sweet 16 last season. Brenda Frese’s side is consistently ranked inside the top 10 of the Associated Press Top 25 Poll. Maryland returns Third Team All-American and Ann Meyers Drysdale award winner Ashley Owusu at shooting guard, and one of the nation’s top shooters in Katie Benzan. In addition to shooting 50% from three-point land, Benzan – the former Harvard guard – led the nation in points-per-play last season with 1.27 according to Her Hoop Stats.
Villanova’s non-conference slate also includes home contests against 2021 NCAA tournament teams in Lehigh (Dec. 1) and Oregon State (Dec. 12). The Wildcats and the Beavers have never met before in women’s basketball.
In City Six play, the Wildcats will take on St. Joe’s on Nov. 20, Penn on Nov. 22, Temple on Nov. 27, and La Salle on Dec. 21. Temple is the lone local opponent that Villanova will host at Finneran Pavilion.
Big East play for Denise Dillon’s side begins on Dec. 3, when the Wildcats travel to Providence. Their first home game in conference play in on New Year’s Eve against Seton Hall.
Villanova will meet conference champs UConn on Jan. 7 at home and then on Feb. 9 in Hartford, Connecticut.
The Wildcats are set to play a few games in front of a national television audience:
· Jan 14. at DePaul (FS2)
· Jan. 16 at Marquette (CBS Sports Network)
· Feb. 11 vs. Marquette (FS1)
Both games against UConn will be broadcast by SNY. Much of Villanova’s other Big East contests will be available via streaming on FloSports.
In all, Villanova will play 29 regular season games this season, 20 of which come in Big East play.
Last year – Dillon’s first at the helm – Villanova finished 17-7 (9-5 Big East) and advanced to the third round of the WNIT where they were bested by Delaware.
Among Villanova’s returners this year is Maddy Siegrist, who led the team in scoring and rebounding last season en route to claiming All Big East honors, a USBWA honorable mention All-American nod and the Big 5 Player of the Year award. Siegrist led the Big East in usage percentage last season with a 32.1% clip and was eighth in the nation in field goals made per-game with 8.7, according to Her Hoop Stats.
Fellow starters Brianna Herlihy and Brooke Mullin are also back. Five freshmen will look to work their way into the rotation too and give the Wildcats a spark as they aim for their first NCAA tournament appearance since 2018.
Villanova Wildcats WBB 2021-22 Schedule
Sat., Oct. 30 vs. Indiana (Pa.), 6 PM (Exhibition)
Weds., Nov. 10 vs. Princeton, 7 PM
Fri., Nov. 12 @ Maryland, 7 PM
Sat., Nov. 20 @ Saint Joseph’s, 3 PM
Mon., Nov. 22 @ Penn, 7 PM
Sat., Nov. 27 vs. Temple, 2 PM
Weds., Dec. 1 vs. Lehigh, 7 PM
Fri., Dec. 3 @ Providence, 7 PM
Sun., Dec. 5 @ Creighton, 2 PM
Thurs., Dec. 9 @ James Madison, 7 PM
Sun., Dec. 12 vs. Oregon State, 1 PM
Tues., Dec. 21 @ La Salle, 1 PM
Fri., Dec. 31 vs. Seton Hall
Sun., Jan. 2 vs. St. John’s, 2 PM
Fri., Jan. 7 vs. UConn, 7 PM
Sun., Jan. 9 @ Georgetown, 2 PM
Fri., Jan. 14 @ DePaul, 6:30 PM (FS2)
Sun., Jan. 16 @ Marquette (2 PM, CBSSN)
Fri., Jan. 21 vs. Providence
Sun., Jan. 23 vs. Creighton, 2 PM
Fri., Jan. 28 vs. Butler
Sun., Jan. 30 vs. Xavier, 2 PM
Fri., Feb. 4 @ St. John’s, 7 PM
Sun., Feb. 6 vs. Georgetown, 2 PM
Weds., Feb. 9 @ UConn, 7 PM
Fri., Feb. 11 vs. Marquette, 7 PM
Sun., Feb. 13 @ Seton Hall, 1 PM
Sun., Feb. 20 vs. DePaul, 2 PM
Fri., Feb. 25 @ Butler, 7 PM
Sun., Feb. 27 @ Xavier, 2 PM